CEI, one of the nation’s premier rural Community Development Corporations (CDCs) and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), specializes in rural business development and financing. Founded in 1977 in Wiscasset, Maine, we create economically and environmentally healthy communities in which all people, especially those with low incomes, can reach their full potential.
CEI provides financing and technical assistance to small and medium-sized businesses, natural resource based industries including the farm, fish and forest sectors, community facilities, renewable energy, commercial real estate and affordable housing. CEI serves communities throughout rural Maine, New England and New York, and is active nationally in partnership with other financing partners. CEI’s development philosophy and theory of change is based on strategically combining the market interventions of finance, development services and policy for social and environmental benefit – the so-called “triple bottom line” – economy, equity and ecology – of return on investment. CEI is CARS™ rated.